The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.


For the first time a Turkish minister attended the commemoration ceremony at the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, where 1.1 million Jews were massacred.

State Minister Egemen Bağış and PACE President Mevlut Cavuşoğlu attended the ceremony together.


Speaking at his party's group meeting, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chairman Devlet Bahçeli said: "Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Edoğan began to take the sultans of the Middle East as examples for himself. But it would be to his benefit not to forget the tragic ends of the leaders who ruled without concern for the public."


Workers from major cities like Istanbul, Izmir, Diyarbakır and Trabzon set off for Ankara to protest legislation that would allow what they call exploitation as well as flexible, unregulated labor. Led by trade unions like DİSK, KESK, TMMOB and TTB, workers will protest the law by forming a "human chain" around the parliament.

A spokesman for the Ankara Governor announced that the protest would not be allowed. The statement said the unlawful protest would be prevented by security forces and the organizers and participants would face legal action.


The spokesman for the European Commissioner for Enlargement & Neighborhood Policy, Stefan Fule, said that the EU is not forcing Turkey to make a choice between the EU membership and Cyprus.

Spokesperson Natasha Butler told A.A on Tuesday that continuing membership negotiations between Turkey and the EU is of strategic importance for both Turkey and the EU, adding that the EU Commission was committed to the membership process within the scope of the 2005 framework agreement with Turkey.

Noting that Turkey, too, should be committed to EU process, Butler said that Turkey should exert more effort to meet the criteria.

Regarding Cyprus issue, Butler said that the EU Commission supported efforts for a solution to Cyprus issue, stressing that Turkey's contribution to a solution was important. Butler added that the Cyprus issue had an influence on many political areas. A comprehensive solution to Cyprus problem would have a positive impact on Turkey's accession talks, she added.

Commenting on Turkish-Armenian relations, Butler said that good, neighborly relations were a part of political criteria for EU membership. Regarding the views of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said that the EU needed Turkey, Butler said that the commission was aware of the dynamism of Turkish economy and people and it could be an important value for the EU.


Urging Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to meet his people's "desire for change," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued what he called a "candid warning" to his fellow Muslim leader about the consequences of his actions.

"Hear the cry of the people and their extremely human demands. Meet the people's desire for change without hesitation. No government can stand against the people," Erdoğan said in his address to his parliamentary group on Tuesday, breaking his silence on the weeklong protests in Egypt.

"In today's world, freedom cannot be postponed or overlooked," the Turkish prime minister said, describing his appeal to Mubarak as "very sincere advice and a very sincere warning."

Erdoğan, who has canceled a planned trip to Egypt for next week, called on Mubarak to take the necessary steps to be remembered with respect, while also urging protesters not to resort to violence.

"We are mortal. We will all die and be judged by those who remain. As Muslims, our final address is a two-cubic-meter hole," he said. "What matters is to be remembered with respect. We should listen to the voice of our conscience and the voice of our people and be ready either for their good prayers or curses. We are for the people; we are in the service of the people."

Prior to Erdoğan's statement on Tuesday, there had been much speculation on how secular and democratic Turkey would respond to the successive revolts among Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, unrest that started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt last week.

Speaking Sunday to President Barack Obama, the Turkish prime minister reportedly made clear in the lengthy phone conversation Turkey's open support for protesters seeking more rights and freedoms.

In his speech Tuesday, which was broadcast live by some Arabic-language channels, Erdoğan held Turkey up as the best example of how democracy had changed the destiny of a people. He added that no government that oppresses its people can survive and that human dignity will sooner or later overcome totalitarianism.

"Governments that ignore the people will not last long. The people's outcry, their appeal, will always get a response," he said.

'Protest, but do not use weapons'

Calling on the Egyptian leader to heed the people's outcry and meet their demands for change before what he described as people with "dirty scenarios" abuse the situation, Erdoğan urged Mubarak to take steps to ensure peace, security, comfort and stability.

"One cannot call months-long elections 'democracy.' We complete our elections in only 24 hours. What we wish to see is that the people's legitimate demands are met before they cause grave pains," he said. "Thus, I call on the Egyptian people: Stay away from weapons during this resistance, but at the same time, protect your history and culture. Focus on your struggle to get your freedoms. This is your democratic right."

Increased freedom and democracy that would satisfy all segments of Egyptian society would be an ideal outcome, Erdoğan said. He urged all Egyptians to handle this process with common sense and responsibility, lest the turmoil cause regional instability.

"[Turkey] will continue to stand side-by-side with both the Tunisian and Egyptian people and continue to share their hope and happiness," he said.

'The Arab world listens to Turkey'

Erdoğan's statements carry great importance, according to visiting Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. "In the eyes of the Arab world, whatever Turkey says is one thing. Successful democracy is the message. They see the great example of Turkey, which had developed a democratic system," he said while attending at conference at the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization (USAK).

The Turkish prime minister meanwhile plans to travel to Syria this weekend to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for a dam to be built jointly by Turkey and Syria. Visiting a day after the Syrian opposition is set to hold a massive rally in Damascus, Erdoğan also plans to hold talks with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on the recent regional developments.

Opposition warns AKP

On the same day Erdoğan urged Mubarak to meet his people's demands, the political opposition in his own country warned him not to seek a presidential system that it said could grant him far-reaching powers as seen in totalitarian countries.

"The lesson Erdoğan has to take from Tunisia and Egypt is the fact that abusing government powers and oppression could have consequences," Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said in his group meeting Tuesday.

The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) criticized the government for adopting policies on Egypt only after seeing the United States' position.

"This man [Mubarak] has been a dictator for the last 30 years. Erdoğan has waited to see the Americans' [stance] before acting. In fact, we had to support the [Egyptian] people in the upheaval against a dictator," BDP head Selahattin Demirtaş said Tuesday.

Main opposition chief Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said Turkey and Egypt exhibit similarities in unemployment rates, poverty, corruption and malfunctioning judiciaries.

"We want democracy in these countries. We want an end to the repressive regimes. These people are our brothers. They could no longer abide by the oppression. This is the consequence if you try to accumulate all power around you," Kılıçdaroğlu, the head of the Republican People's Party (CHP) said in his address to his party members at Parliament.

The CHP leader also called on people in the turmoil-hit region to take Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey, as an example in their struggles for democracy. "Take Turkey as a model. The model of the Republic of Turkey. Mustafa Kemal's model ... This is the libertarian model. Respect for human rights, gender equality [and the] social state," he said.


Opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu targeted the ruling party for becoming part of the "deep state" during his party's group meeting on Tuesday, stating that his party will bring light to the darkness.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) "unfortunately has blocked all of our attempts to find unidentified suspects," said the Republican People's Party (CHP) leader. "But we are determined to bring these cases to light."

In addition, Kılıçdaroğlu pointed out that the financial deficit had increased from 2.41 billion Turkish Liras in 2000 to 28.71 billion liras in 2009.

"I have a question. The AKP's accounts were examined and some expenses were denied. Mr. Prime Minister, why are you billing your cologne expenses to the party? We have never billed the party for personal care products. We do not want to talk, but they are forcing us to show our dirty side. And now they're afraid the accounts from other years will be examined," said Kılıçdaroğlu.

"A decision was made in 2008 to examine all documents. All documents starting from 1999 were examined. The investigation yielded no results. How can you still accuse me of giving out tenders? My name is not Recep Tayyip Erdoğan," said the CHP chief.

Another issue on Kılıçdaroğlu's agenda was the recent CHP resignations from a parliamentary commission during talks on the omnibus laws reshaping the judiciary, in a move to protest the ruling party's efforts to limit the time allotted for speeches to five minutes per deputy.

"The AKP is trying to use its numbers in parliament to silence the opposition" in an effort to "say and get what they want without objections," said Kılıçdaroğlu.

"Of course we're going to object and resist [the limitations]. We will do whatever it takes to strengthen democracy," he said.

Referring to the recent controversy over a monument labeled "freakish" by the prime minister, Kılıçdaroğlu said Erdoğan was trying "to steal the public's agenda from them. Seventy million people have focused on a monument, as though people don't have problems."

"He says he cannot control his anger," Kılıçdaroğlu said, referring to Erdoğan's defense to certain comments the prime minister had made to the press. "[If that is so,] then [he should] leave politics. It is a politician's job to have esteem. But you, despite praying in a mosque, lie to the people."

MHP: PM a tyrant

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Develt Bahçeli also had the prime minister on his agenda during the party's group meeting. "The attempts to create a two-party system are the same as the Sept. 12 [1980] regime taking place today."

"Prime Minister Erdoğan is trying to emulate a tyrant," said Bahçeli. "He is becoming more and more like a sultan from the Middle East."


The head of Turkey's top court slammed members of the judiciary on Tuesday, accusing them of opposing every solution proposed to the country's judicial woes.

"The members of the supreme judiciary should abandon their habit of opposing every solution proposed to solve the judiciary-related problems on the grounds that it will create chaos," Constitutional Court President Haşim Kılıç said Tuesday.

"It is not in line with the rule of law to turn the judicial power into tutelage and to try to legitimize it by [calling it] judicial independence," he added, speaking at the oath-taking ceremony for newly elected Constitutional Court member Erdal Tercan.

Kılıç's remarks came amid outcry by the presidents of the country's Council of State and Supreme Court of Appeals, who have said the government-proposed draft law to reshape the judiciary would not solve the problems it faces.

The Constitutional Court president added that the members of the judiciary should also know to engage in self-criticism.

"Nobody has the power to defend the current situation of the judiciary, which was pushed in the name of judicial independence and neutrality," Kılıç said. "It is disrespect to the members of the judiciary and it is not in harmony with the understanding of democracy to describe the elections held to elect judiciary members as a plan to capture the judiciary."

Commenting on the enabling law being drafted for the Constitutional Court, which would grant citizens the right to individually apply to the court, Kılıç said the chance of any such application succeeding would remain low unless effective judicial reform is swiftly carried out. The court president also responded to claims that the draft laws would give the Constitutional Court excessive authority by allowing it to annul decisions made by the Council of State and the Supreme Court of Appeals.

Despite what critics have claimed, the changes will not turn the Constitutional Court into an "appeals court," Kılıç said.

"More than 50,000 cases will have been dropped by 2014 due to the statute of limitations. We have witnessed many forensic and expert mistakes, and millions of cases await new trials in appeals courts," the court president said. Kılıç added that such issues and "procedural laws that seem to limit the time for arrests but accept 10 years as a reasonable time" have created the current, poor state of the Turkish judiciary.

"Such a picture will not calm the consciousness of citizens who seek rights in the courts," the top judge said, adding that the court plans to accept individual applications in two years.


Holding a press conference prior to his departure for Kyrgyzstan, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan replied to a question about the presidential system and said: "Leaders are unique. There cannot be a second person to share the leadership. However, there is a team game. Our party acts with team spirit. When it comes to the presidency system; people should know about such concepts in my country. Nobody has the right to be offended for discussing these concepts. Let people discuss this, and nobody shall feel uncomfortable."


The U.S. Treasury claims Turkish companies Macpar Makina and Step A.Ş. are cooperating with a multi-million dollar procurement network for Iran's missile industries, it announced Tuesday on its website.

Led by Milad Jafari, an Iranian national, the network tied to Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) uses a series of companies in Iran and Turkey to procure metal products, including steel and aluminum alloys for AIO's subordinates, the U.S. Treasury said. Between 2007 and late 2008, the network facilitated transactions valued at more than $7 million for companies subordinate to AIO it said.

"The Jafari network has established itself as a lifeline for Iran's missile program by providing essential materials and support for AIO," said Under-Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey said: "The Treasury Department will continue to identify and expose channels Iran is using to defy international sanctions, wherever those channels may be located."

"Milad Jafari runs the procurement network along with his father, Mohammad Javad Jafari, and brother, Mani Jafari. Turkish nationals and key associates of Milad Jafari, Muammer Kuntay Duransoy and Çağrı Duransoy, facilitate transactions on behalf of the network. Milad and Mani Jafari's mother, Mahin Falsafi, operates the network's bank accounts at the Export Development Bank of Iran [EDBI], which was designated by Treasury in October 2008 for providing financial services to Iran's Ministry of Defense of Armed Forces Logistics [MODAFL] and its subordinate entities," it said.

Located in Turkey, Macpar Makina and Step A.Ş. provided material, technological or other support for, or goods and services in support of, AIO's subordinates. Milad Jafari's associates Muammer Kuntay Duransoy and Cagri Duransoy manage Macpar's operations out of Turkey, which facilitates transactions for AIO companies.

© 2017 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

Recent Articles by
receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free gatestone institute mailing list.


Comment on this item

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Gatestone Institute greatly appreciates your comments. The editors reserve the right, however, not to publish comments containing: incitement to violence, profanity, or any broad-brush slurring of any race, ethnic group or religion. Gatestone also reserves the right to edit comments for length, clarity and grammar. All thoughtful suggestions and analyses will be gratefully considered. Commenters' email addresses will not be displayed publicly. Gatestone regrets that, because of the increasingly great volume of traffic, we are not able to publish them all.